A picture of the waxwork of Jamaican sprint star Usain Bolt during its unveiling at London's Madame Tussauds museum, four days before the start of the 2012 London Olympic Games. AFP Photo/Andrew Cowie
Usain Bolt has won the IAAF World Athlete of the Year award for the fourth time over United States hurdler Aries Merritt and Kenyan runner David Rudisha.
The Jamaican sprinter, who defended his 100 and 200 meter gold medals at this summer's Olympic Games, had previously won the award in 2008, 2009, and 2011.
United States sprinter Allyson Felix won the women's World Athlete of the Year award. The other finalists were Valerie Adams and Jessica Ennis.
The awards were announced on the final day of the IAAF's 100th anniversary celebration.
Age-conscious Bolt feels need for speed in 2013
Conscious that he is not getting any younger, Usain Bolt will be focusing on pure speed next year after retaining his Olympic 100 and 200 meters titles in London.
The charismatic Jamaican, who turns 27 in August, holds the world records in both sprints and will be looking to better those marks, set at the world championship in Berlin in 2009, during 2013, he told Reuters Television on Friday.
"It's all about speed this year, trying to see how fast as I can go," he said in an interview in Barcelona, where he is attending the IAAF centenary celebrations.
"I want to see what I can do," he added.
"I'm getting older so I should try to go as fast as I possibly can now.
"So I think that will be the main focus as long as everything goes smooth as we want it to, no injuries and stuff, it should be a good season."
Jamaica's Usain Bolt crosses the finish line ahead of Jamaica's Yohan Blake to win gold in the men's 100-meter final during the athletics in the Olympic Stadium at the 2012 Summer Olympics, London. AP/David J Phillip
Yohan Blake, three years younger than his Jamaican compatriot, is likely to be Bolt's main challenger again next year and the world's fastest man said he was relishing the challenge of competing against his training partner.
"Blake is looking good also this season," Bolt said. "I'm just looking forward to the competition.
"The youngsters that are coming up excite me, who is going to be my next challenger?
"Blake stepped up, I proved to him that I'm the best and I've proved to the world over and over, year after year, that I'm the best. So for me I'm looking for the next challenge, the next guy who is going to step up."
At a later news conference, Bolt said he did not think he should be racing Blake more than once or twice a year and ruled out running the 400 meters in 2013.
"When we get two races a season it's much more exciting for everyone to come and see us," he said.
"I don't think we should run more than once or twice a year. I don't think I should put my body through too much stress."
Gold medalist Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates with spectators as he stands on the podium during the medal ceremony after the men's 200m final at the athletics event during the London 2012 Olympic Games. AFP/Franck Fife
Looking further ahead, the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 were also on his agenda, although Mills would be the one to decide, Bolt said.
"That's the only title I don't have so I think it's something I'd like to go for, even if it's just to do one event," he told reporters.
"If everything goes well with the contract then I'll be there. It's pretty much 50-50 but because he's the coach he always makes the final decision but it's the Commonwealth Games so I don't think he'll have any objection with me going."
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Jamaica's Usain Bolt celebrates winning the men's 200m final during the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium. Reuters/Lucy Nicholson